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Home > Alcohol treatment matrix cell D4: Organisational functioning - psychosocial therapies

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2018) Alcohol treatment matrix cell D4: Organisational functioning - psychosocial therapies. London: Drug and Alcohol Findings. 4 p.

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URL: https://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?file=Matrix/Alc...


The Alcohol Treatment Matrix is concerned with the treatment of alcohol-related problems among adults (another deals with drug-related problems). It maps the treatment universe and for each sub-territory (a cell) lists the most important UK-relevant research and guidance. Across the top, columns move from specific interventions through how their impacts are affected by the widening contexts of practitioners, management, the organisation, and whole local area treatment systems. Down the rows are the major intervention types implemented at these levels. Inside each cell is our pick of the most important documents relevant to the impact of that intervention type at that contextual level. 

What is cell D4 about?

As well as concrete things like staff, management committees, resources, and an institutional structure, organisations have links with other organisations, histories, values, priorities, and an ethos, determining whether they offer an environment in which staff and patients/clients can maximise their potential. For these and other reasons, agencies differ in how keenly and effectively they seek and incorporate knowledge and implement evidence-based practices. The best might have effective procedures for monitoring performance and to identify when and what improvements are needed, facilitate staff learning, forge links with other organisations, and submit to external accreditation and quality assurance. Research cited in this cell is about the impact of these attributes on the human interactions involved in ‘psychosocial’ therapies, ranging from brief advice and counselling to extended therapies based on psychological theories. 

How critical the organisation is was forcefully brought home Organizational issues were far more important than the researchers originally assumed (free source at the time of writing) to researchers attempting to implement a new psychosocial treatment programme in rural US substance user services: “Organizational issues were far more important than the researchers originally assumed. Therapists spent more time during pre-implementation consultation commenting on how their treatment organizations might help or hinder implementation than on any other topic.” As these researchers discovered, that is why successful implementation is most likely when the entire agency is the target of the implementation effort rather than individual therapists. At this distance from the preoccupation with intervention effectiveness, research is scarce, and generic sources (incorporated in Australian guidance) beyond the scope of the matrices become more important.

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